To ensure maximum safety for passengers and drivers, Mowasalat (Karwa) organised the first-ever firefighting training in Qatar for electric vehicles, focused on vehicles with lithium-ion batteries. The training was in cooperation with a specialised US company and conducted over four days at the Mowasalat headquarters and in Ras Laffan.

Firefighting Training Group Photo

The event was attended by a diverse group of Mowasalat (Karwa) staff together with representatives from the General Directorate of Civil Defence. During the four-day exercise, the attendees were trained on the management of a variety of disaster situations, from full-scale electric vehicle crash damage to multiple ignition scenarios associated with electric vehicles.

The training prop bus to facilitate the practical training was supplied by Yutong Buses for performing emergency operation techniques in a controlled set-up.

Safety discussions and practical exercises

The first day was spent with an overview of electric vehicles, followed by discussions on electric vehicle safety and lithium-ion battery fire behaviour. The second training day focused on electric vehicle shutdown and hazard management, with special focus on passenger and special needs passenger evacuation. The following two days were focused more on practical sessions conducted at the live site.

The attendees were trained with a live burning battery and were instructed on fire suppression tactics and operations. The last day of training also integrated Civil Defence support with water extinguishers, extrication, and hand tools to access areas of the burnt bus and the lithium-ion battery.

The attendees learned to apply forced-entry operations for gas sampling and rapid access to the external compartment doors housing the battery. The simulation taught the attendees the mechanism of using water flow without touching the burnt battery.

After the training, and in line with Mowasalat’s commitment to sustainability, particular emphasis was placed on waste management and disposal of burnt lithium-ion batteries and the waste generated from the simulation and practical sessions.

This was also in line with the vision to achieve circularity in the country’s public transportation by recycling and/or repurposing used batteries, tyres and other parts of used buses.

After the training, Mowasalat (Karwa) CEO Fahad Al Qahtani said that their unfailing commitment to a greener public transport system in Qatar has inspired them to proactively deploy their new fleet of eco-friendly zero-emission electric buses.

At the same time, we remain acutely conscious of the health and safety of both our drivers and passengers.

He said that they continuously aim to ensure that their teams are equipped with the knowledge of appropriate safety protocols and incident management and response capabilities.

Al Qahtani said that it is with this intent that they undertook the joint firefighting training exercise, thereby significantly enhancing the internal capacity of their teams to master the latest techniques of disaster management, specifically concerning possible adversities related to electric vehicles.

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